In my nesting obsession, I got hooked on a book called The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering by Marie Kondo. Essentially her premise is to keep only those things that bring you joy. You begin with your clothes, books, paperwork, miscellaneous and finally memorabilia.
With the intense panther-like focus that only a mama-to-be can muster, I attacked my home with great gusto. Every sock, pen, and old journal was assessed by it’s ability to “spark joy”. My husband even joined in on the fun. At the end, my home had space, lots of space for the new family member we await.
Every night before bed, I’d browse the instagram hashtags of #konmari and #konmariemethod searching for inspiration on what others did with their office and their business. I was disappointed when I didn’t find much.
I thought I’d share my journey of how to bring the Konmari Method to your business:
Decluttering the office supplies:
“Ack! These were expensive!”
“What if I need this again?”
Office supplies are challenging to part with because of how dang functional we can think they are.
Except, they aren’t always.
I had whole stacks of rewritable DVDs and CDs that I will NEVER use now I we have Dropbox and USB sticks. Old folders for business proposals and press kits – who needs those now?
It been years since I’d needed these supplies. Yet in previous decluttering attempts, I couldn’t part with them. AHHH the ruthlessness felt good this time.
There were many office supplies that did “spark joy”. For example, my pretty paper clips, a good pair of scissors, some washi tape that I never use but it makes me happy. All these items help me manage my business without being a burden in my life.
All my office supplies, including paper and postage, now fit in a small 3 drawer plastic cabinet. It’s all in one spot and it includes ONLY what I need (except those 2 rolls of washi tape).
Purging the Digital Clutter
Kondo does not talk about digital clutter in her book. I was inspired by my friend Susan Busse, who was taking it the next level with her digital clutter. (I’ll be sharing some of her other inspiration a little further along in this blog).
I have a strong filing system, but the old folders, files and photos were still wearing me out.
My first step was a backup – just in case I went a little crazy.
It was so cleansing getting rid of old files from my previous business. Old partnerships that didn’t work out, lame ideas, half finished projects that I was no longer passionate about – they all went into the trash. I gave myself permission to be exactly where I am now. I freed myself from the guilt of the book I should have written, the first rounds of products that I made that didn’t work, old contract templates that I’ll never use again.
All of it went into the trash.
I didn’t stop there.
Next, I went into my iPhoto and deleted all the photos I no longer needed.
Okay, I’ll be honest, it was 60% photos of cats in motion that didn’t quite work. There were photos of experiences I actually WANTED to forget. Or people who brought great lessons to my life, but not much joy. I deleted them all knowing it’s okay for me to be honest about what truly sparks joy for me.
Clearing the needless clutter of marketing and clients
Once my physical space was clear. It left me open to how to apply this on a deeper level.
- What marketing activities spark joy?
- What kind of clients spark joy?
- What projects and products spark joy?
- Is there a way to distill all that we are doing to only that which brings us joy?
These are questions I am asking myself as I move forward.
I asked two friends who are in the middle of KonMari’ing their business, how they are applying the principles on a level deeper than just their physical space.
Maria Gil Ulldemolins from Tinymighty.me shared
I have actually found that:
- I am Konmari-ing my site (a lot cleaner, clearer).
- I am Konmari-ing my offerings (focus on Art, everything else loses emphasis).
- I am Konmari-ing my posts (do less).
- I am even Konmari-ing my graphics. More white space, less things.
- I am Konmari-ing older Art pieces, planning a studio sales (thinking a “pay what you want” kinda thing).
Susan Busse from Susanbusse.com, shared:
I’m tuning in more and more to what sparks joy, most certainly. And making decisions…some changes can be made quickly and others require a bit more planning. Although it is angled more towards logic and ‘need’ vs ‘finding joy’, this kind of article is also very helpful and can be found under more generic terms like “decluttering”.